2017 was a big year for the CRM world, we saw the rise of chatbots, and customer data enriched with social media feeds but what are this year’s top CRM trends? 2018 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for CRM users, with talks of AI helpers, unified omnichannel customer service supports, and tightly integrating CRMs with other best of breed cloud business apps. Read on to find out more about these exciting developments.

Your CRM will be more social

Social media isn’t going anywhere soon, and businesses are looking for effective ways to monitor and analyze their social channels. In 2018 CRMs will go beyond social media monitoring for mentions of your business, they will help you with your customer support efforts. Here are two crucial customer touchpoints where social media will shine in 2018:

Community Building: CRMs will delve deeper into community building and allow customers to share their experiences with the company, rate products and services and log customer care enquiries. It also encourages interaction with other customers, so they can share their experiences with your products.

Social analytics for customer service: Social media is the go-to customer support channel for millenials, with a report from Microsoft finding that 47% of 18-34-year-old consumers have used social media to complain about a brand’s service.

AI infused CRMs

By 2021, AI tech in CRM will generate $1.1 trillion in revenue. It’s safe to say this is a technology that isn’t going to go away anytime soon.  In 2018, we’ll see an uptick of AI in our CRM software, especially when it comes to low-level tasks such as making appointments.

Michael Fauscette, principal analyst at G2 Crowd said “You’ll start seeing more intelligent assistants to take things off your plate, like scheduling meetings or finding the right PowerPoint — those types of things will keep getting better.”

Some AI systems will be able to automatically adjust workflows, and optimize sales cycles. The more data your CRM collates, the better your AI can learn from this data, “Over time, this system will teach itself to do an even better job of targeting potential customers and decision makers by identifying which personal or professional attributes hold the most weight,” says Chris Matty, analyst at Destination CRM.

While your AI helpers aren’t going to be taking over your job, they will be helping you to do a better job.

Tight integration with other business cloud apps

The hottest CRM trend in 2018 is integrating your business cloud apps, so that your teams have access to the most up to date customer data.

Best of breed CRMs, such as Insightly, do a great job holding prospect and customer data, you can take Insightly further by connecting it to your marketing automation, customer care, or accounting apps.

While a lot of CRMs natively integrate with some apps, your choice is severely limited. A lot of CRMs, including Insightly are now turning to third party integration services, like PieSync, to help fill customer demand that they integrate with more best of breed apps. They know that integration isn’t an easy task, so a third party app that specializes in integration is the way to do to ensure data accuracy and consistency.

What’s the problem? You’ve probably seen this one, you’re working in Insightly,but marketing, customer care, and accounting each have their own apps, filled with customer data. The problem is customer data gets stuck in these apps, and it leads to problems like miscommunication, leads being handed over when they are ice-cold, and customers not getting their invoices on time.  

It comes down to data accuracy, which underpins all customer service efforts. In fact, a report found that 75 percent of organizations believe inaccurate data to be undermining their ability to provide an excellent customer experience. 2018 will see CRMs opening up to third party integration platforms so that their customers can benefit from the power of creating a unified SaaS Stack.